CA Home Prices

Originally Posted By: jpope
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California Leads the Nation in the Least Affordable Housing in 2004

19 of the 25 least affordable market areas are in California, which is one of the most highly regulated areas in the country.

Earning the dubious honor of least affordable housing market in the third quarter was the metro area encompassing Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc, Calif., where less than 5 percent of homes sold were affordable to families earning the median household income of $64,700 and the median sales price was $447,000. This marks a substantial drop in affordability since the first quarter of 2004, when the median price was $380,000 and nearly 11 percent of homes sold were affordable to median-income earners.

San Francisco, which has previously held the title of least affordable housing market, still had the highest median sale price of the 163 metro areas that were ranked. However, that city?s high median household income, of $95,000, kept it slightly higher on the list, as the nation?s 11th least affordable housing.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach market has a 6.2 percent affordable rate for families earning the median income. Lima, Ohio, is the nation?s most affordable housing market with 90 percent of the homes were affordable to families earning the median income.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning the area?s median income during a specific quarter. Strong home-price appreciation, which has outpaced income growth in many areas, was the main factor for slipping affordability. It was found in many markets, working families are finding it considerably more difficult to afford homes today than they did at the start of 2004. Ultimately, higher home prices are a matter of strong buyer demand.But a big contributor has been a shortage of land available for development due to growth controls, and the high cost of regulations in general. This includes everything from excessive impact and utility hookup fees to the price of long delays for subdivision approvals. Municipal government in California that have curtailed production of affordable and workforce housing through excessive regulations should consider this a wakeup call. For more information please go to

Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
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(661) 212-0738